Bridge Construction

Bridge Construction

Currently, the need of constructing strong bridges on highways and streams is increasing day by day because of the unbelievable environmental changes and to cope with contemporary needs, the architects are needed to pay specific attention towards the designing of the bridges. Nowadays, there has emerged a vast variety in bridge constructions and hence, it has become really difficult to select which one is suitable for which locality. However, this thing can be assessed through scrutinizing environmental factors since it is the contemporary environment that can give an overview of what is the need of local people.

In this paper we examine bridge construction, the light is thrown upon several kinds of bridges and their designing, which factors are pondered upon while designing scrutinizing the bridge and how the environmental factors are scrutinized while making a bridge design. The first part of this paper throws light upon different elements which are contemplated in order to make a bridge, including span, material, placement and form of the bridge. The second part throws light upon three different kinds of fundamental structures that are used in order to formulate bridge design, including beam, truss and ach structure. The third part of this paper gives an overview of what challenges the architect has to face while designing a bridge and the last paper gives the example of bridge designing from three perspectives i.e. steel made bridge, covered bridge and Earthquake Bridge. The entire paper is developed keeping the scholarly articles and journals in view.

However, before throwing light upon which bridge is constructed in which sort of circumstances, it is vital to analyze the kinds of bridges and their requirements.

Bridge and its Requirements

If the analysis of all kinds of bridge is done, there are millions of bridges which are constructed using dissimilar structures but the basic architecture of all these bridges is the same. However, these bridges are constructed to help people in crossing valleys and streams without any apprehension but the main thing is that how these bridges are constructed?

A bridge architect has to consider lots of things including bridge span, size, look, shape of bridge, distance from ground or stream or material used for the construction according to environmental needs etc. However, four different factors which are required for constructing the bridge that can compete with natural forces, involve span, material, placement and form of the bridge.

As far as span is concerned, there are three different types of spans which can be contemplated for the construction of the bridge keeping environmental factors and whereabouts under consideration. These three are simple, continuous and cantilever types of span.

Keeping the material needs in view, to construct a bridge concretely and with extreme accuracy, stones, metal, concrete etc are required to mixed up with harmony so that the constructed bridge can easily cope with environmental hitches. Suppose, if the bridge is constructed over stream, it is vital to use concrete material with appropriate mixing of stones so that the bridge can be build in a strong way that enable it for coping water hitches.

The bridge surface also matters a lot as far as the placement of bridge is considered. This surface can be deck, thorough and pony which is employed appropriately. While constructing this kind of bridges, trusses type and surface level matters a lot. The bridge form such as beam, truss, arch etc also considered while constructing a bridge keeping the environmental factors in view. The next part of this paper will through light upon all these three types and how they work in different environments.

How Bridge Construction Works In Different Environments

Every bridge is constructed keeping environmental and constructional issues in view and hence the architecture is designed accordingly. The demand of material and method of construction is assessed by scrutinizing the whereabouts of the construction site. However, these three kinds of bridges are suitable for different kind of environments and these are as follow.

The beam bridge

The beam bridge is suitable for temperate environment since the construction of such bridges is done using horizontal beams which are used to give support on the end of each pier.  Usually the beam weight pushes on the piers straightly. While using beams for bridge construction, usual span is observed is no more than 250 feet.

The trusses bridge

Truss bridge construction structure is one of the widely used bridge structure in United States and thousands of bridges have been constructed using this structure. Basically, in this bridge structure, the triangular steel bars are assembles in a sharp series. Cantilever bridge is the most complex kind in this structure and Earth of Forth Bridge of Scotland is the most appropriate example in this regard.

Bridge Construction Dissertations
Bridge Construction Dissertations

While constructing bridge using the structure, rigid arm of every two piers are extended from each side and steel bar is projected between each two pier from top to bottom. The arms are projected in the middle in order to hold and support one side so that the bridge remains strong. These arms support the central span.

Usually this kind of bridges are good for the places where the weather is strong, dynamic, always changing and strong winds blow since, this kind of weather requires a strongly constructed bridges.

The Arch Bridge

This structure of bridge is innovated by Romans using stones in order to make bridge carrying great strength. However, today, these arch bridges have been made using concrete or steel in order to construct the bridge in a strongest and modern way. Usually the span of such bridges is more than 800 feet. This kind is also good for aggressive environment.

Additional Structure

Though these are three basic structures which are employed in order to get ultimate architecture but mostly, two of them are amalgamated to get ultimate bridge that can aid the architect to meet the bridge construction requirement. Most of these amalgamated structures involve trussed through arch, trussed deck arch, covered trussed etc.

Environmental Challenges for Bridge Construction

Different kinds of bridges are constructed in different ways keeping environmental needs under consideration but during this process, there are several severe challenges appear as the strong hindrances during the construction process. These obstacles varies according to the type of the bridge structure i.e. beam, arch or truss one, along with the environmental factors which are pondered well before hand while constructing bridge from its core.  Some major challenges which involve during bridge construction include the traffic load during bridge construction, geometric and construction challenges, environmental changes and deformation (ICE, pp. 217, 2001) However, for making a bridge that tallies the environmental factors, the bridge designing plays an inseparable role and all three basic units of bridge design needs particular attention from architects.

Bridge Construction Design Steps

The construction of a bridge involves several sensitive issue which are employed in order to meet the objectives since the life of thousand people rely upon the construction of the bridge. However, while constructing a bridge, there are lots of factors that are kept in limelight and the entire design of bridge is constructed. While making design of a bridge, either the architect is eager to place it on highway, stream, busy post or some small canal, it is divided into three major parts. These parts involve superstructure, substructure and foundation. Each part is needed to pay special attention while designing so that the ultimate objective can be met. (Bangash, pp.5, 1999) The example of steel bridge construction, Earthquake Bridge and covered bridge building can be taken as evidences in this regard. The next part of this paper will show different types of bridges and the way these are build.

Steel Bridge Building

Steel bridge structure is one of the widely exploited structures worldwide and utilized in order to control and handle heavy traffic load. However, the construction of steel bridge is also a matter of challenge for the architect since the architects have to keep several issues under consideration.

While constructing steel bridge, first it is essential to keep superstructure and substructure in view. Before doing bridge designing and paperwork, the form of bridge is also selected; either the choice should be beam structure, arch structure or the trusses based one. It is also vital to throw light upon the need of surface whether which one is suitable according to the environment, deck or covered one. All these factors are pre-planned before starting designing of the bridge in formulated. Hence, the capability and accuracy of the bridge very much depends upon the above mentioned factors and the architect has to pay attention to all these factors so that a bridge can be formulated in order to meet the environmental requirements.

Why steel bridges are preferred over other structures? The reason is very obvious since it has the capability of coping environmental challenges, either it is related to whether or the circumstances. It is its strong capability to bear heavy load of traffic and strength of tolerating speeds. The reason behind this fact is the steel based surface which is strong enough to handle environmental and crowd related issues.

There is no lit-up problem with steel based bridges since the quality of such bridges is very high. Since the hostile environmental factors are minimized, the result appears in the form of safety and economic benefits.

Covered Bridge Building

Another type of bridge is covered bridges that are structured with wooden trusses. Basically this kind of bridges are good for the places where the threat of climatic changes is at its apex and the masses have threat of being injured because of this environmental change.

In this kind of bridges, the surface of bridge is protected with enclosed roof in order to keep the whether related issues aloof from the bridge users. However, this kind of bridges is stronger as compared to some other in the sense of weather since the safety from climatic effect widens their life span. Most of these bridges are constructed using trusses and the most renowned design in this regard is Brown trusses.

Basically these bridges are constructed for one way lane of traffic and used for local purpose. Hence, these are made of wooden and if they are not protected in a righteous way, their life span gets shortened soon. According to researches, an uncovered wooden bridge may last within 10 to 15 years of its construction as compared to covered one which has long life span. However currently, there are lots of covered bridges which are constructed using metal, steel or similar other material but these types of bridges also need protection to widen their lifespan. However, the reason behind covering metal based bridges is to provide convenience to the users rather than safety of bridge.

Earthquake Safer Bridge Construction

Another example of bridge design and environment compatibility can be assessed through the bridge design which is formulated to keep the harms caused by earthquake aloof from the bridge and its users. According to Buffalo (2007), “Bridges that “dance” during earthquakes could be the safest and least expensive to build, retrofit and repair.”

Apart from climatic factor, another environmental factor ‘earthquake’ has been given specific attention that causes severe loss if the bridges got hitches and get down in such circumstances.

The contemporary researchers have developed the first seismic bridge design and tested this methodology successfully observing how it moves and jumps off during the course of earthquake. During the test session, this bridge has proved itself a stronger one since the steel truss made towers are used to support the decks of bridge and the construction of this bridge has been less expensive as compared to others. U.S highway administration has funded this research in order to build a safe and earthquake free bridge design which can come up with the needs of dealing with earth hitches.

While designing this bridge structure, the emphasis is laid on having strong foundation since the earthquake issue always caused broken bridges from their foundation. So, the construction of foundation structure is given more importance as compared to superstructure and substructure.


For construction of the bridge, it is essential to keep the environmental needs, material and designing of the bridge under consideration and according to the assessed specifications, the appropriate bridge construction design should be adopted.  There are lots of pre-formulated designs for this cause but all of them needs some basic elements to get changed and this change is made possible through constructing the bridge using a structure that tallies with the environment of that respective place.

In this regard, this paper has given an overview of what the basic requirements of the bridge construction are, how the environmental needs can be assessed, which structure will be appropriate for which kind of circumstances and what sort of material should be used in order to cope with such environmental changes. Moreover, all these basic designs can be used to formulate specific design for some special place, keeping the environmental challenges in view.


Bangash, M. H., (1999) Prototype Bridge Construction Structures: analysis and design Front Cover M. Y. H. Bangash.

Thomas Telford, 1 (999) Great Britain (Bridge Construction section): Thomas Telford.

BUFFALO, N. Y., (2007) Bridge Construction Will Rock Safely with New Quake Design.

ICE (2001) Current and future trends in bridge construction and maintenance 2: safety, economy, sustainability and aesthetics; proceedings of the international conference organized by the Institution of Great Britain: Thomas Telford.

Orchard (2007) Student guide to steel bridge design – Bridge Construction. North Lincolnshire: orchard Resource Base.

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Chinese Construction Industry

An Examination into Information Technology and Competitive Strategies within the Chinese Construction Industry

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This post evaluates the use and deployment of technology within the Chinese construction industry. As competitive environments are constantly changing in the contemporary business world, managers are devising various flexible approaches to respond to such uncertainty and complexity. Deploying strategic information systems is an important approach to address such the challenges of flexibility in business competitiveness. During the 1980s and 1990s, we saw considerable financial investment into business IT in search for “competitive advantage” in various industrial markets. There were many academic papers as well as consulting reports studying the competitive benefits of IT in business in order to persuade firms to invest in strategic information systems. Many business company sought to replicate the success stories of IT enabled business strategy, such as United Airlines, Thomson Holidays and all the other celebrated cases that have entered the information systems mythology. Although the last three decades have seen the high speed growth of investment in information technology by companies, the exact way of getting competitive advantage through information technology is still vague and hard to be concretely grasped. Large investment of information technology is also accompanied by over evaluation of IT and decline in organizational performance, as shown in many cases of failure in IT strategies. Especially in developing countries, many companies are trying to learn from economically advanced economies and initiate their large investment in information technology in order to improve their competitive advantages.

Chinese Construction Industry
Chinese Construction Industry

The rate of failure is particularly high in such developing countries. This increased uncertainty suggests the need for improved strategic planning and management of information systems, and the need for consideration of local socio-economic environments. The aim of the dissertation is intending to study the information technology strategies in a typical construction company and develop a deeper understanding of how information technologies create new competitive advantages for construction companies in Chinese context. The need for a link between information technology (IT) use and business strategy in construction industry has been identified and discussed over a number of years. The objectives are threefold in this dissertation. First, I will have a literature review of current research on IT strategies, competitive advantage and IT in construction industries. Secondly, I will conduct fieldwork in a Chinese construction firm, collecting data by questionnaires and interviews, trying to understand the current situations of IT adoption within the Chinese construction industry. Last but not least, I will present an analytical framework which is used to analyse the IT strategies in Chinese construction companies.

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Briefing Process Construction Projects

What Are The Contributions Made By Client Facing Project Managers To The Briefing Process Within The UK Construction Industry?

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For the past fifty years or so briefing has been highlighted as one of the problem areas within the UK construction industry. Various UK government reports have reflected these inefficiencies from the Banwell (1964) report to the Egan (1998) report. The government reports put emphasis on the importance of improving customer focus in the construction industry. The brief establishes the requirements of the client and hence the objectives of a project. As the client facing project manager is concerned with achieving the project’s objectives, this dissertation seeks to establish what contribution the client facing project manager has on the briefing process. In order for this investigation to progress the following research will include a literature review of the briefing process and qualitative research of the client facing project manager’s involvement in the briefing process. Primary data obtained from the qualitative research will be analysed and conclusion will be drawn. Analysis of results of the investigation showed both negative and positive issues for the client facing project manager on contributing to the briefing process.

Briefing Process Construction
Briefing Process Construction

Negative issues include lack of education of the briefing process; there is a lack of understanding with regard to good practice implemented and poor undertaking of strategic briefs. Positive issues include an appreciation of the briefing process and an appreciation of the impact of a project upon the client’s core business; traits of leadership implemented to the briefing process and a willingness to gain knowledge in order to develop a strategic brief. The conclusion of the investigation is that the client facing project manager needs to gain further competence in order to contribute effectively to the briefing process. The dissertation objectives are as follows;

  • To evaluate the involvement of the client facing project manager in preparing the brief for their client
  • To assess the client facing project manager’s perception of the briefing process
  • To examine what tools and protocol the client facing project manager uses to develop a brief
  • To gain an insight into any barriers that exist which would hinder the client facing project manager from implementing a strategic brief
  • To examine the client facing project manager’s understanding of the briefing process
  • To assess if the type of client influences the client facing project manager’s involvement in the briefing process
  • To carry out an objective investigation, in analysis and conclusion

Briefing is an iterative process in trying to interpret client requirements and involves consultation with project stakeholders during its development. A good brief should capture the client’s requirements in a clear and precise way. As briefing is an iterative process, communication and coordination is important as a large amount of information is being passed between parties involved in the briefing process. The process requires decisive decisions to be made that can have implications on cost in later stages of a project. Central to the briefing problem is that the client does not fully express the project objective and is oblivious of the alternatives open to it. On the brief taker’s side there is difficulty in trying to decipher the requirements of the client. With uncertain information moving between parties, misinterpretation is a high risk and may only be avoided by repeated iterations around the problem.

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Sustainability Dissertation

Has The Economic Crisis Impacted The Levels Of Commitment Towards Sustainability Within The Property Industry?

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The recent economic crises within the UK, Europe and the world continues to worsen and along with it growing concerns continue to increase over the fragile state of our environment with rising fears over climate change and global warming. Energy security along with the need to secure energy supply has been prioritised as a short to medium term objective by governmental authorities as climate change protocols appear to be set as a medium to long term priority. This hypothesis aims to assess the effects the recent economic crisis is having upon the property industries commitment to sustainability. It will provide an overview of the concept of sustainability, detailing the current constraints and the means by which it needs to be addressed in the future. This research paper will examine the legislations that have been produced to meet future targets within the property industry highlighting key initiatives for future sustainable development. Furthermore, it will deliberate the concept of green development identifying its key strengths, benefits and the provisions required to be incorporated in green leases and developments within the industry. It is essential that sustainability takes more precedence in the future to help curb global warming and in doing so establish the current global recession and its effects on sustainability with the realisation that the property industry must comply to promoting sustainability in order for greater environmental conditions. It seeks to identify the key roles and relationships faced by practitioners within the property industry and the need for mandatory procedures to adhere to regulation and establish greater levels of sustainable development in new and existing buildings.

Sustainability Dissertation
Sustainability Dissertation

Dissertation Objectives

  • To provide an overview of the concept of sustainability and its effects on the property industry
  • Research the government’s laws and regulations towards promoting green development and betterment towards sustainability
  • To identify the problems of the economic crisis and its effect upon promoting sustainability
  • To understand and anticipate practitioner’s commitment towards sustainable development and how the lapse in the commercial market and limited bank lending has affected their decisions

The fundamental issue of sustainability within the built environment is becoming an increasingly topical subject; and yet the term sustainability defies specific definition among many of those working within the property sector, with many unsure as to what it actually means. Sustainability is now reaching the top of many political agendas with growing concerns at the realisation of the rate of climate change and so the progress in encouraging sustainability is becoming an essentiality.  The term sustainability in relation to property development can be loosely defined as the location, design and development of property which is economically viable, environmentally responsible and which has a positive, material effect on the quality of life. With the strain caused by the recent financial downturn in the economy this study examines how both this and the need for environmental sustainability will prevail and how those working within the property sector have taken to their commitment to sustainability with the rise of economic turmoil, said to be the worst recession since World War I. This literature review takes a closer look at the different concepts of sustainability, recent government measures to improve sustainability and how the recent economic downturn has impacted upon the sustainability agenda by the new government legislation in attempts to produce a Zero Carbon environment. With the lack of academic papers available it will acquire professional statements, government publications and reports to review any literature upon promoting sustainability, its definition and the global recession’s impact upon practitioners’ commitments to adhering to regulations for future betterment of the built environment.

Dissertation Structure

Chapter 1 – Introduction This chapter introduces the problematic issue surrounding global warming and how the concept of sustainability must be realised in order to reduce carbon emissions and the challenges it brings within the property industry. The current financial climate is addressed and the financial impact it has upon the property industry together with legislative regulations produced by the government to reduce carbon footprint of buildings and promote sustainability. The chapter outlines the aims and objectives of the research study, entailing the outline methodology and the research methodology that will be utilised to perform this study.

Chapter 2 – Review of Literature on sustainability Literature review assists in addressing the concept of sustainability, identifying its principles, the government’s actions to tackle this problematic issue within the built environment and the future strive for green development.

Chapter 3 – Review of literature on the economic crisis’ impact upon sustainability within the property industry Literature review on the current economic crisis and its effects upon both sustainability and the property industry and the relationship held between each of these three elements.

Chapter 4 – Research Methodology This chapter examines the research methodology to be applied to carrying out the research.

Chapter 5 – Research Findings and Analysis The results from the interviews will be used to provide an analysis to go along with the literature review in order to evaluate the hypothesis formulated in section 1.

Chapter 6 – Conclusion This chapter gives a conclusive result of the research conducted, and provides a summary and evaluation, identifying the constraints felt during the process of producing this report and an answer to the hypothesis.

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